1080i, 1080p, HD, Contrast Ratio, inches inches etc Flat screen TV help Please.......

    Im looking to replace my basic main household family viewing TV. I have a vague understanding though could someone explain or point me to a guide of the following and there advantages of why my new tv much have this:

    Contrast Ratio
    LCD vs Plasma

    Also if theres a deal of an obvious flat screen that would tick all boxes I would also be most grateful, and no jokes about the inches in the thread title, lol.



    i'll 2nd that!

    1080i = INTERLACED picture. This means that the picture is displayed in two passes, first the odd numbered lines then the even numbered lines. Most current HD sets will offer 1080i and you should look for this as a minimum.

    1080p = PROGRESSIVE. This means that the entire picture is displayed in a single pass. This is a very desirable feature on TV's 42" and above, however for screens smaller than 42" it doesn't really matter (arguably).

    HD = High definition. The ability to display high definition images, measured as "HD ready" and "Full HD ready". Hd ready is any TV that can support a minimum of 720p video. "Full HD" generally means a TV that can natively display 1080p video.

    Contrast ratio - refers to how vivid and sharp the picture will be. The higher the contrast ratio is, the better the differentiation between colours will be.

    LCD Vs Plasma - personal choice applies here. Plasma's tend to give truer "blacks" as opposed to the bluish black produced by most LCD Tv's. However, if buying less than 42" then usually you would buy LCD because Plasma's tend not to be available in sizes less than 42" (there are some exceptions).


    sorry to hijack but does anyone know if "widescreen" option is essential?
    noticed some of the [email protected] makes have it but the £400-£500 mark sharp and samsung aint?

    ah, a tricky one...prepare to be bamboozelled!!

    im no expert

    depends what you will be watching most

    i would suggest getting as much advice as you can from specilalists and by that i mean DONT go to currys, comet, richer sounds and any other box shifter...they know f all about the products they sell...buying a mag like what hifi sound and vision which rates all tv's on sale.....also look at the eisa site to see which tv's won the european awards…deo

    1080i - 1080i sources get "painted" on the screen sequentially: the odd-numbered lines of resolution appear on your screen first, followed by the even-numbered lines--all within 1/30 of a second. progressive scan formats including 1080p convey all of the lines of resolution sequentially in a single pass, which makes for a smoother, cleaner image, especially with sports and other motion-intensive content.

    1080p - 1080p sources are blu ray, hd-dvd....if you dont have one or arent intending to get one dont pay extra no broadcast uses 1080p and it may not happen for a several years / tens of years as huge bandwidth would be required - by then your 1080p tv will be out of date! HD is broadcast in 1080i. I wouldnt get to hung up on whether you need 1080p (i could be cynical as say that this is just the new marketing buzz word from the box shifters, like currys, comet, to sell a feature on a more expensive tv that may not need - esp if you only watch Eastenders).

    HD - In terms of a tv, High Definition usually refers to 720 vertical lines of resolution or more. You will some tv's refererred to as HD ready meaning they can handle sources that produce 720 vertical lines of info without manipulation of the picture. Full HD means the tv can handle sources that produce 1080 vertical lines of info without manipulation of the pitcure.

    Contrast Ratio - measure of a display system between the brightest colour (white) and darkest colour -(black) - higher the will notice that generally plasma's have the highest and lcd's are pretty pioneer plasma has a contrast ratio of 16000:1....tho lcd's are getting better and whilst some samsung lcd's can reach a seemingly amazing 25000:1, the colours dont feel natural at all and the blacks still look dark grey (so, im very sceptical about that claim)

    LCD vs Plasma - aha, that battle....lcd's use less power, plasma's are better at motion and miles better at colour reproduction/blacks, lcd's suffer panel bleed due to their design which is why they are generally **** at producing blacks tho LCD's are getting better but they are no where near plasma' a pioneer 42in kuro which i have just bought with an LCD and laugh at the LCD...most plasmas are highly rated, most lcd's are not (apart from the Panasonic's, Loewe's, the odd Philips, the odd Samsung). Generally plasmas are 42in or above (panasonic i think produce the only 37in plasma which is excellent), LCD's come in all sizes

    ultimately it depends what you are watching...even if you watch alot of films, you will still be watching alot of ordinary tv in Standard Definition as so few programmes are transmitted in HD via sky hd (even then its at best 1080i)

    to confuse matters, the best 42in tv out there is the Pioneer 428XD plasma and i have bought one, whilst it is very expensive (2400rrp, but i paid 1500) yet it isnt 1080i...resolution is a seeingly paltry 1024x768 but its quality not quantity that counts and its miles better than any other plasma / lcd ive seen.....

    so i would strongly suggest drawing a list of prioities for your tv, what do you mainly watch, what sources are you going to use, what are the important feature to you, do i need 1080p, do i need tv's in standard definition (and laugh at the lcd's....those with 100hz are better but still not great).......above all go to a specialist as you can demo a tv and some have similar tv's next to each other for comparision...if the specialist doesnt have a tv you are after then there is probably two good reasons for that, either its rubbish or its unreliable

    Original Poster

    Thank you all for the informative and detailed replies, rep
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